Tag Archives: arts

Review: SHOPLIFTER by Michael Cho

Shoplifter-Michael-Cho-Pantheon

The fresh face of youth, complete with a cute smirk, is such a fleeting thing. Meet Corinna Park. She thought she’d take the big city by storm, have wildly witty friends, and knock out her first novel by sundown. In the graphic novel, “Shoplifter,” Michael Cho guides us through the life of a new generation’s Holly Golightly.

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Filed under Comics, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Michael Cho, Pantheon, Random House

Comic-Con 2014: On Being A Third Class Superhero

Comic-Con 2014: Star Wars Display

Comic-Con 2014: Star Wars Display

Comic-Con is many things: a focal point for learning about pop culture and a place to buy and sell pop culture. It is a fascinating place to be to observe a concentrated segment of consumer culture. With an estimated attendance this year topping off at 160,000, Comic-Con International: San Diego is an instant village. Not everyone is there for exactly the same reasons. But, at the same time, even the academically-inclined that claim that they are there only for the serious panel discussion, must admit to this event being like going to Disneyland.

You are there, caught in the sweep of humanity, and you can’t help but feel that you are part of something bigger. This is a mega-community all mashed together with various views and agendas. To be fair, I like to give credit to everyone for all the hard work they do. There is so much on display, with so many issues at play all at once. On the most basic level, we have a huge number of humans all seeking something. The only way it makes sense for me is to set up guideposts for myself ahead of time and go to the things that matter most to me. And, like a grand museum, you will only manage to see part of what you set out to see.

We’re only human, right? We are more complex than we give ourselves credit for. Comic-Con is not a bunch of rats set loose, even if it may seem like that at times. We are human. Comic-Con seems like one big spectacle sometimes but, just like they say about going to school, traveling, and life in general, you get back what you put into it. The thing to remember about Comic-Con is that, at its roots, it is about fandom and a love for comic books is at its core. If you gather together a group of young (and not-so-young) people who are sensitive to seeking out something more, whatever that might be, you’re on a good track right there. That something more, whatever it might be, will be an anchor, a gateway, a portal, all at once.

From Charles Yu’s Third Class Superhero:

I know this is as good as it will ever get for me and it’s not that good. I have a small heart, a dark heart, a heart filled with exactly equal amounts of good and evil, one that is weak and will take us only so far, but for now it propels us higher and higher and higher.

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Filed under Charles Yu, Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Media, pop culture

Comic-Con 2014: A Celebration of Walt Kelly and POGO

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The pure magic of Walt Kelly’s “Pogo” comic strip defies easy description. It appeared in newspapers around the country and galvanized thought among the thoughtful. His strange and beautiful comic strip was, in its day, “Doonesbury,” “The Simpsons,” and “The Jon Stewart Show” all rolled into one, times ten. Its satirical bite was so effective that newspapers would opt for either the innocent joke version or go for the political version of the comic strip. Has Walt Kelly been relegated to the margins? That is where many an odd genius will dwell only to be rediscovered. Thanks to Fantagraphics Books, the Pogo comic strips are getting their due.

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Comics, Pogo, Political Cartoons, politics, Walt Kelly

Comic-Con 2014: Jane Austen’s 200-Year-Old Franchise and Other Stories

To label the works of Jane Austen as a 200-year-old franchise is like plucking the wings off a butterfly, isn’t it? Well, it was said, without too much irony, at one panel discussion at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego. Sure, there was some irony, since we’re all comedians now with impeccable timing, but the intent was to strategize on how to get the most out of Austen. And what would Jane Austen have to say about this? Producers would be interested to know, especially if she could pitch to them a new show. Franchises just aren’t what they used to be. Original content is scarce.

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Filed under Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2014, Transmedia, Trends

Comic-Con 2014 Interview: Lucy Knisley

Lucy Knisley is a wonderfully observant cartoonist. There wasn’t anything quite like her comics journal, “French Milk,” when it was first published in 2007, and it has grown in stature ever since. It’s a fun read, first of all. It’s also a gentle push forward in what the comics medium is capable of. Knisley has created a number of other works with that same personal quality. Her more recent notable work is “Relish,” published by First Second in 2013. In this work, the narrative is tighter and the drawing more refined in keeping with the book’s structured theme. For this interview, there is some comparison of these two works and some thoughts on what lies ahead for comics.

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We begin with thoughts on M.F. Fisher, a master at storytelling that made a fine mix of memoir and writing on food. Fisher’s first published book was “Serve it Forth,” in 1937. And, like the title implies, the pages within contain words that express an uncanny zest for life, and food. Nowadays, it seems like we’re all foodies. But only a few can claim to be standard-bearers to Fisher to any degree. I started thinking about that in terms of what Knisley is doing and that is where our conversation takes off.

You can find out more about Lucy Knisley by visiting her site here as well as visiting our friends at First Second Books right here.

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Filed under Comics, First Second, graphic novels, Lucy Knisley

Comics Grinder Campaign Continues at GoFundMe

Tom-Spurgeon-Comics-Reporter-Henry-Chamberlain

I want to thank Tom Spurgeon for his mention today at The Comics Reporter of my campaign to help sustain and grow what I do here at Comics Grinder.

It’s a pleasure to write about the comics medium and share with you my insights in various ways right here. I love writing, in general, and that’s never going to stop. And I love creating comics and that’s not going to stop. In fact, I have much more to share with you in the years to come, not less. I am hardly going away. I’m blossoming. But I’m still getting the word out there on what I do and I could use some better resources. Just like anyone building something special, it does require time and money. And so, I decided to put together a GoFundMe campaign. I hope you will take a moment to visit and consider making a donation, any bit will help this campaign along. You can find it right HERE.

And, say, later on today or the next day, you think to yourself, “Yeah, I think I will help out Henry Chamberlain continue to grow and expand all the things he does at Comics Grinder,” well, the campaign is easy to find. You can Google it. Or just remember the site’s name, GoFundMe.com, followed by my site’s name with a hyphen in between:

gofundme-comics-grinder

Crowdfunding is an essential tool these days. I could really use your help. Thank you! You can find all the details here.

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Filed under Comics, Crowdfunding, GoFundMe, Henry Chamberlain, The Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon

Review: ‘Seconds: A Graphic Novel’ by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Seconds-Bryan-Lee-OMalley

Any number of people, places, and things stick in our memory and we wonder sometimes what it all means. In Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new graphic novel, “Seconds,” we have a character, Katie, who wonders and wishes about her life constantly. She’s 29-years-old and on the brink of something new in her life but she’s very uncertain about the future. And then, one fateful night, a little goblin girl sits atop her dresser offering some relief from all her worries.

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Filed under Ballantine Books, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Comics, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Random House, Scott Pilgrim

Eleanor Davis and Esther Pearl Watson at Fantagraphics Bookstore this Sunday, Part of Georgetown Art Attack, July 12-13, 2014

Eleanor-Davis-Fantagraphics-Bookstore

For those of you in Seattle, this is a very interesting weekend. For fans of rising cartoonist talent, Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery is the place to be this Sunday, July 13 from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. It will be your chance to meet Eleanor Davis and Esther Pearl Watson. This is part of Georgetown Art Attack weekend, July 12-13, 2014.

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Filed under Comics, Fantagraphics, Fantagraphics Books, Georgetown Art Attack, Seattle

Story: The Girl in the Cafe and an Ionized Environment

Pretty-Girl-Seattle-Cafe-Henry-Chamberlain-art

The Girl in the Cafe and an Ionized Environment
Art and fiction by Henry Chamberlain

She sat at her regular table on the second floor of her favorite cafe. It was the same old crowd. It was a steamy summer day. She had the whole world before her. There was the Space Needle right out the window to keep her company. She made herself comfortable. She wiggled her toes. Someone was overheard saying, “An ionized environment really helps.”

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Filed under Feet, Fiction, Seattle, Story, Storytelling, Style, Technology

Minicomic Feature: SMITH TOWER by Henry Chamberlain

Smith-Tower-Henry-Chamberlain-comics-2014

Here is a minicomic I recently completed that features Smith Tower, a Seattle landmark celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In this comic, Smith Tower is a character in its own right. We follow a number of characters who are searching for answers. Among the searchers, two main characters emerge. We can’t be sure how these two are connected but, as fate would have it, their paths become inextricably linked. Whether that is cause for celebration or concern, remains a mystery. For fun, let me wax on for a bit on this new work, minicomics, and the art process.

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Filed under Comics, Crowdfunding, GoFundMe, Henry Chamberlain, Minicomics, Seattle, Smith Tower